Consumer Attitudes and Participation in a Voluntary Energy Conservation Program

Duncan G. LaBay, University of New Hampshire
Cynthia J. Frey, Boston College
ABSTRACT - Participation behavior in a voluntary energy conservation program sponsored by an electric utility firm in New England is evaluated. Participants, who received low-cost home insulation devices free of charge on request, are compared to non-participants on the basis of energy conservation attitudes and prior behaviors, attitudes toward utility firms, dwelling-specific situational differences, and demographic and lifestyle factors. Data were collected through a mail survey utilizing a probability sample of program participants and a matched control group. Response rates of 75% and 51%, respectively, yielded a total of 707 respondents. Significant differences are found to exist between the two groups in a number of energy conservation attitudes and behaviors. Dwelling-specific factors and demographic differences also exist. The results have implications for consumer researchers evaluating the effectiveness of such energy conservation incentive programs, from a private sector and public policy viewpoint.
[ to cite ]:
Duncan G. LaBay and Cynthia J. Frey (1986) ,"Consumer Attitudes and Participation in a Voluntary Energy Conservation Program", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 13, eds. Richard J. Lutz, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 668.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 13, 1986      Page 668

CONSUMER ATTITUDES AND PARTICIPATION IN A VOLUNTARY ENERGY CONSERVATION PROGRAM

Duncan G. LaBay, University of New Hampshire

Cynthia J. Frey, Boston College

ABSTRACT -

Participation behavior in a voluntary energy conservation program sponsored by an electric utility firm in New England is evaluated. Participants, who received low-cost home insulation devices free of charge on request, are compared to non-participants on the basis of energy conservation attitudes and prior behaviors, attitudes toward utility firms, dwelling-specific situational differences, and demographic and lifestyle factors. Data were collected through a mail survey utilizing a probability sample of program participants and a matched control group. Response rates of 75% and 51%, respectively, yielded a total of 707 respondents. Significant differences are found to exist between the two groups in a number of energy conservation attitudes and behaviors. Dwelling-specific factors and demographic differences also exist. The results have implications for consumer researchers evaluating the effectiveness of such energy conservation incentive programs, from a private sector and public policy viewpoint.

For further information, write to:

Professor Duncan G. LaBay / Whittemore School of Business and Economics / University of New Hampshire / Durham, NH 03824-3593

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